Masters Historic Racing champions crowned

A number of Masters Historic Racing competitors are celebrating becoming the first-ever champions in the organisation’s history after the championship-deciders at Spa-Francorchamps.

The 2011 season marked Masters’ first year with recognised championship status and ran points-scoring competitions for GP Masters, World Sportscar Masters (WS), Pre-66 Touring Cars and Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT cars. Each champion receives a TAG-Heuer watch as recognition of their season-long achievement.

Richard Barber (Fittipaldi F5A) secured the GP Masters crown despite a tough weekend at Spa to end the season three points ahead of Rowland Kinch (Arrows A4) and historic racing newcomer Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 76/1).

The metronomic Porsche 911 RSR of Mark Bates claimed the WSM title after a dominant season in his class. Fellow Porsche pilot Paul Howells took the runner-up spot, while the stunning Ford GT40 of David Forsbrey was third, shared on occasions with its preparer, Gelscoe Motorsport’s Andy Newall.

The popular Gentlemen Drivers’ Pre-66 GT Cars championship boasted huge grids and tremendous racing all season. The ex-Jackie Oliver Lotus Elan of established driving partners Michael Schryver/Simon Hadfield took the title, Hadfield often leaping between the Elan and Leo Voyazides’ AC Cobra. Two more drivers who have shared cars for many years, Sean Walker and Ian Flux, took second in their Lotus Elan, while the experienced Rob Hall secured third in the title race with his AC Cobra after an outright win at Donington Park.

The Mann name, famously connected with Ford touring cars in the 1960s through Alan Mann Racing, returned to its winning ways in 2011. Henry Mann, Alan Mann’s son, took a maiden outright win at Oulton Park in March and went on to win the Pre-66 Touring Car title from Mini ace Nick Swift by just four points. Swift won his class, while fellow Mini racer Philip Burgess secured third.